Daily Speculations The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner



James Sogi

Philosopher, Juris Doctor, surfer, trader, investor, musician, black belt, sailor, semi-centenarian. He lives on the mountain in Kona, Hawaii, with his family.

Subway Turnaround, by James Sogi

Have you ever come out of the subway completely turned around? Last weekend in NYC I came out of the #6 line going uptown at 59th St completely turned around. The internal rudder told me that uptown was downtown and vice verse. Even after seeing the street signs, it took a few minutes for the internal rudder/compass to turn around. Weird sensation. Most people have an internal rudder that tells them generally which way is north and south, east and west. It must be a holdover from caveman days. Having spent the last few weeks on a boat and an island got me used to the natural cues, the sun, wind and stars. But going into the subway and winding down and up the stairs really spun me around.

Chair talks about having a rudder in the markets. Have you ever been turned around in the market; bearish when the market is bullish? That's where the scientific method comes in. It acts as the signs, or the sun, wind and stars to navigate the market. Without a good rudder and compass, you'll end up on the rocks. Airplane pilots on instrument rating experience the vertigo of flying in a cloud, but have to orient to the instruments to get their bearing. Navigators in a featureless ocean need a compass, a star, the moon or sun to guide them. Speculators lost in the market need a rudder, a good compass to guide them.

Ken Smith adds:

There is a sixth sense that will guide one in a fog. It is not so common but exists in a few ocean navigators.

On land if you are in the dark and turned around you can know where you are if there is a pig farm in the area, and the prevailing wind is blowing.

There are animals on Wall Street. Bulls and bears. And pigs. If one can determine who the pigs are, and has been around long enough to know which from direction the prevailing wind blows, then in the midst of chaos it is still possible to know where you are.


Jim Sogi, May 2005

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